Are you using student interns in your business? Are you in charge of recruitment at a firm in need of extra hands to get things moving? Have you considered that students eager to learn may be an ideal resource for your company? And the best part is that the outstanding ones can end up staying with you after graduation.
Internship programs are potent recruitment tools that you can use anytime you want to help your company grow. Whether you are running a college essay writing service or own an FMCG business, you can benefit from learning how to create an internship program. But how exactly can you accommodate students as interns in your company? Keep reading to find out strategies for leveraging internship opportunities and growing your business.
1. Offer paid internship programs
It doesn’t take a genius to know that students prefer getting paid while learning rather than interning for free. Although you can employ interns without paying them, there are strict conditions. And running an unpaid internship program will restrict your interns from taking on specific roles and working for more than a given number of hours weekly.
Paying interns motivates them to demonstrate their best at work. They will also be more likely to tell other students about your program, giving you free publicity. Thus, we strongly recommend paying interns or providing additional facilities to help them meet their intern goals. Offer them networking opportunities, transportation and excellent recommendation letters to make their internship experience smoother.
2. Run virtual internships
When you put out an internship advert, you can expect students from all over the country to pick interest in it. But if it’s a location-based internship, some candidates may refuse due to distance barriers. So in an age where we are smoothly transitioning to virtual living, it comes as no surprise that companies now have virtual internships.
Virtual interns can work from anywhere — home, school, even other countries. This flexibility gives you access to more interns than could have physically fit in your office. It will also ensure that bright students living far away can apply to work with you. And if your company can’t afford to pay interns, global virtual internships may be an alternative. You can hold such internships and have students work up to 10 hours every week unpaid.
3. Position to qualify for credit internships
To entice potential interns, consider targeting students looking for extra credits. Some schools reach agreements with their students to give them college credits based on their internship. Clerical or mechanical roles may not qualify for this kind of internship, so if you want to attract more students, tweak your model to suit their needs.
Study the curricula of students in your industry and create a program strongly related to it. Companies qualify for credit internships based on how related their programs are to students’ academic disciplines. The schools often task their students to defend what they learned during their training, write an intern essay, fill a logbook, etc. When you combine the prospects of a paid internship and college credits, you can see why students will love to work in your company.
4. Host your internship in the summer
Timing can make a lot of difference in how many students you can absorb into your company. Internship programs can run throughout the year in line with academic windows, but we recommend targeting summer periods. Students are less occupied during the summer and are available to work for longer. Running summer internships will pay off as you will have more hands on deck to get things done around the workplace. The key is to post adverts for your internship opening as early as possible so that more students see it and plan accordingly.
5. Ensure student interns do meaningful work
As much as students want to earn, they crave meaningful work. The interns wish to learn, sharpen their skills and pick up new ones relevant to their industry. Students will generally avoid internship programs that their predecessors have complained about after being used for menial tasks that added little value to them. When you take interns, ask them this crucial question: “What do you hope to gain from this experience?” Knowing your interns’ expectations will help you put them in departments that they are best suited for. This step will also let you know whether their expectations are in line with your company’s core values.
Properly planned internship programs benefit both employers and student interns. But to attract suitable candidates to work with you, you must understand their needs and create an enabling environment for them to work, learn and earn. Following these five strategies will help you absorb as many interns as your company needs to thrive.
Amanda Dudley is a lecturer and writer with over ten years of experience. In 2001, she obtained a Ph.D. in History from Stanford University and ever since then, she has pursued a fulfilling career in the education system. Currently, she works as a part-time essay writer at EssayUSA, a reputable essay writing service.